Sunday, March 30, 2008

Crime: Labour tough on paper, not in fact

Labour is pinning its hopes on stemming the ebbing of their support in the May 1st council elections on frightening the electorate with anti-social behaviour.

Some points need to be answered:
"Remove licences or close down shops that persistently sell alcohol to under eighteens"
Will this include the major supermarkets, which Labour nationally has refused to challenge?

"Introduce local crime fighting strategies so that every area is kept safe [...] Work closely with neighbourhood policing teams to deal quickly with local hotspots for crime and anti-social behaviour"
We thought this was just what LibDem-led Swansea was doing?

"The Liberal Democrats opposed our tough action on crime."
How can a party which wants to put more policemen on the street (as opposed to cutting police budgets, which Labour has done) be described as not wanting to be tough on crime?

"[LibDems in Swansea have] wasted £80m on a failed IT project ... "
Initiated by Labour.

" ... failed to be straight with local people about the cost of the new leisure centre"
WLGA Labour group leader Derek Vaughan, who co-presented the launch of the manifesto, is also leader of Neath Port Talbot council. Last week, Cllr Vaughan announced two major construction projects: the rebuilding of the Gwyn Hall and a restructuring of Pontardawe. Both are uncosted.

The story of Liberal Democrats in Cardiff, Swansea and Wrexham is of restoring financial competence to those councils after Labour mismanagement. It is no surprise that Labour is majoring not on value for money, but on their supposed competence on crime.

Meantime, the convicted terrorist Yassin Nassari has been let go under the Government’s early release scheme.

Liberal Democrat Shadow Justice Secretary, Chris Huhne commented:

“There is a huge discrepancy between the Government’s rhetoric on terrorism and its actions.

“Next week ministers will bring before Parliament unnecessary and draconian legislation on pre-charge detention in a desperate attempt to look tough on terrorism.

“People convicted of terrorist offences can be back in society having served less than half their sentence because of our desperately overstretched prison system.

“Measures to tackle prison overcrowding should focus on helping drug-addicts, inmates with mental health problems and non-serious offenders, rather than giving terrorists an easy ride.”
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